When Left 4 Dead was first released in 2008, It stole the hearts (some would say arms) of many survival horror and FPS fans around the world as it took the world’s population by storm. It was developed by Turtle Rock Studios which was later purchased by Valve during the development of the game. Left 4 Dead also uses Valves proprietary Source engine and is set in the aftermath of a apocalyptic pandemic.
When you first play Left 4 Dead, it can be a little daunting at first but the control scheme is not that hard to accustom to. It can be pretty n00b friendly depending on the difficulty you set it at and who your playing with but its pretty easy to pick up and play so you’ll be crowning a witch in no time. If you’ve ever played Counter-Strike Source or Team Fortress 2 you’ll fell pretty at home with the key layout for playing the game.
In campaign mode you play as one of the four survivors. It doesnt matter as to who you’re playing as all the survivors have the same attributes (running speed etc.) so you don’t have to worry about that. When starting the campaign you’re left stranded with the other survivors usually in a remote area with a nice addition of lots of guns and ammo etc. to stock up on before you push out. The gameplay is quite frantic and action packed with plenty of infected to keep you occupied while you struggle to reach your point of safety. You’d probably get used to the game quite easily as there isn’t much of a learning curve and if you were playing online co-op, perhaps the strongest point of the game, you’d have more skilled survivors to watch you back and to walk you through some strats and give you some tips or without a doubt say something stupid to make you laugh. Sometimes you’re short a player and you’re stuck with a AI controlled survivor to fill in which most of the time get in the way of fire and just follow you around instead of taking the lead when you’re hurt but I suppose it would be worse if they left you behind.
Having a microphone can be a crucial swing between making it out of the city or getting annihilated by zombies, as you don’t have time to type when a hordes attacking you and there’s a smoker about to pick one of you off. It also adds to the co-op immersion that L4D puts you in as you can communicate with the other survivors and call for help when your in trouble.
Versus mode is a great addition to the game and is without a doubt the most fun playing with a group of friends. In Versus 4 players step in the shoes of the survivors and the other 4 play as special infected. Your goal as the infected is to try and stop the survivors from reaching the safe room. For the survivors, it is practically the same as campaign but you’re up against real people as the special infected and is more of a challenge to pass to the safe room (depending on the FAIL of the infected team). After the round is over the teams switch roles and from there it’s to see which team can rack up the most points. Versus is a great mode bringing a fresh experience to the game by allowing you to play as the hunter, smoker, boomer and the tank, hunting the hunted as you once were running away.
Survival mode, on the other hand, it’s just meh… and doesn’t propose anything special other than, you guessed it, surviving. It’s basically just a stage from a campaign where you fire up the horde but this time its just endless waves of infected you have to deplete ammo into. The longer you hold out the worse the enemies get. It’s nice that Valve has added it into L4D but I certainly don’t see myself playing this very much at all.